Leveraging IT Automation to Drive Business Growth

Leveraging IT Automation to Drive Business GrowthBy now you’ve probably seen the correlation drawn between IT automation and increased efficiency. In fact, automation in its inherent design is meant to help businesses do more with less and many companies across the globe – from small businesses to large enterprises – have leveraged automation technology for this very purpose. What you may not have considered, however, is that today’s ITPA platforms can actually go well beyond this and be used to drive overall growth of the business. Let’s take a look.

Invest in a quality IT automation product. It all begins with the selection of a high quality automation and orchestration platform that offers robust features and can integrate seamlessly with a wide variety of existing systems and tools.

Develop an automation strategy. The ability to not just automate routine IT tasks, but also streamline complex workflows is paramount to leveraging ITPA as a catalyst for business growth. Develop a strategy that will include what processes should be automated and in what order.

Embrace virtualization. The end-goal is to develop and implement a singular, seamless workflow and in order to achieve this goal IT automation must be leveraged in both a physical as well as a virtual infrastructure. CIOs must consider and embrace virtualization in order to maximize ITPA’s fullest potential.

Start small and build gradually. Most businesses invest in IT automation to help reduce costs and streamline certain operational functions. That’s a great place to start, even just by focusing on one silo at a time. The eventual goal, however, should be to bridge the entire infrastructure so that there are no more isolated processes, but rather an all-inclusive, “big picture” automation strategy. Start small and work your way up from there.

Include IT automation in data center consolidation. To fully realize efficiency and cost-savings benefits of IT automation, it must be incorporated into any and all data consolidation projects.

Think beyond ROI. Certainly measuring return on investment is an excellent tool for gaining executive buy-in for ITPA. CIOs must resist the temptation to stop there and instead be willing to explore the more far-reaching and ongoing benefits, such as continual cost containment. In other words, don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

If you consider how the process of ITPA truly works, and its many benefits, it’s easy to see how this tool can also be a catalyst for business growth. When internal processes are streamlined, efficiency is maximized. This improves both internal and external service levels. It also frees up key personnel to be able to focus their talents and expertise on strategic business objectives, including growth. As a result, employees and customers are more satisfied, workflow is completely optimized and talented personnel are more tuned into driving the business forward.

What could IT automation do for your organization? The best way to find out is to give it a try! Download a free 30 day trial today to get started.eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Guest Post: How to Effectively Isolate Malicious Files Before They Spread

Virtually every organization deals with a firehose of potential malware on a daily basis. Infosec teams are often overwhelmed with arduous digital forensics and incident response (DFIR) processes dealing with the flood. Typically these DFIR processes involve manual, repetitive checks. Sound familiar?

Chances are your organization, like many others today, struggles to stay ahead in the fight against malware. Evasion techniques employed by sophisticated zero-day malware, manual processes, which increase the workload of security teams and open the door to human error, and the lack of automated orchestration tools to deal with malware attacks are just a few of the many challenges that most organizations are faced with today.

Ayehu’s automation and orchestration platform combined with VMRay’s agentless malware detection and analysis engine enables security teams to mitigate the risk of potentially malicious files through fast automated threat analysis and detection.

How does it work?

Alerts from Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platforms are usually the trigger for infosec teams to begin investigating potential attacks. Simple integrations with SIEM platforms like Splunk enable Ayehu to receive alerts of suspicious files in an organization’s network. Through an automated process Ayehu submits the suspicious file to VMRay Analyzer for further analysis.

The file is automatically vetted through VMRay’s built-in reputation engine, which has the ability to determine if a file is known malicious or known benign within milliseconds. The ability to deal with known threats so quickly using a fully automated process makes threat mitigation processes much more efficient and effective.

Ayehu VMray Connector

What if the reputation engine cannot classify the suspicious file as known good or known bad? How can I protect my organization from zero-day malware?

If the reputation engine returns an “Unknown” reputation score, the next step in the analysis process, is to automatically put the file through a detailed behavioral analysis.

The suspicious file is detonated in a customized virtual machine and is monitored for all system interactions. With this approach, it is almost impossible for the suspicious file to detect the analysis engine and evade analysis. The dynamic analysis engine then returns a VTI (VMRay Threat Identifier) score by considering several factors such as:

  • Filesystem, registry and network activity of the suspicious file
  • Process creation, code injection or driver installation performed by the suspicious file
  • Evasion techniques used by the suspicious file
  • System Persistence techniques used by the suspicious file
  • YARA rule matches

If a file is deemed malicious by VMRay Analyzer, Ayehu can automatically escalate it as a top priority by generating alerts to security teams. With specific playbooks, Ayehu has the ability to automatically quarantine a user’s device by:

  • Blocking IPs/Hashes
  • Disabling the User
  • Terminating Processes

Automated analysis eliminates the risk of allowing potentially malicious files into your environment while relieving your security team of manual, error-prone processes.

To learn more about how VMRay and Ayehu can effectively isolate malicious files before they spread, click here to launch your free trial of Ayehu or contact VMRay.

Read the Ayehu and VMRay solution brief

 

About the Author…
Rohan Viegas – VMRay, Product Manager
Rohan brings over 12 years of experience in product development and management roles to VMRay. In his role as Product Manager for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, prior to VMRay, Rohan managed a portfolio of products including network management and security software.
At VMRay, Rohan’s responsibilities include product roadmap planning, project management, and technical collateral development.

 

Want to Know How to Keep Your Best Cybersecurity Employees? Automate

Want to Know How to Keep Your Best Cybersecurity Employees? AutomateThere’s much talk about the so-called skills gap in the cybersecurity realm, particularly as it pertains to a lack of qualified staff. What isn’t mentioned quite so often is the fact that because those who are skilled enough to handle the daunting task of enterprise security are in such high demand, the essentially hold all the cards. For IT leaders, it’s not just about attracting the best talent. It’s about keeping them on for the long haul. Given the competitive landscape, this is no easy task. The one ace you can hold in your pocket, however, is automation.

A recent survey revealed that almost half of today’s cybersecurity professionals receive contact from a recruiter or another party regarding a job opening. Those who hold the title of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) receive five or more such solicitations each and every week. Even more concerning? The same survey indicated that 44% of security professionals are satisfied in their current job. 15% said they aren’t satisfied at all.

This means that if you’ve got even a few employees who are currently unhappy and a plethora of recruiters knocking down their doors on a regular basis, it’s pretty easy to understand why retention in the cybersecurity sector is one of the biggest challenges organizations face today.

Thankfully, you have the ability to turn things around. It starts with providing your IT team with the tools and technologies they need to do their jobs better and more efficiently – in particular, leveraging automation to streamline manual processes like incident response.

Consider for a moment that 92 percent of organizations field 500 or more cyber alerts each and every day. That adds up to around 15,000 alerts per month. This volume of incoming incidents, coupled with inevitable false positives, can easily lead to alert fatigue, especially considering that the average cybersecurity analyst is only capable of accurately handling around ten alerts per day. In other words, without the right tools, your IT team is drowning and you’re probably going to lose them as a result.

To improve employee satisfaction and retention, IT leaders must take the initiative to automate the many manual, tedious tasks and workflows currently bogging down cybersecurity analysts. This significantly lightens the workload while allowing skilled security professionals to apply their expertise to more strategic projects and perform more interesting and meaningful work. These things can dramatically improve morale and satisfaction, which will make it easier for you to keep your best employees.

With the right cybersecurity orchestration and automation platform, your IT analysts could focus on such initiatives as:

  • Proactive threat management. While automation handles incidents that have already occurred, your IT pros can spend their time hunting down potential threats and preparing for them in advance. Being proactive rather than reactive is better for the employee as well as for the organization as a whole.
  • Optimize processes and policies. By eliminating the need for manual incident management, security professionals can work on improving existing policies and developing best practices.
  • Perform routine system and process audits. With the free time automation affords, your IT team can work on reviewing and analyzing other tools, systems, applications and programs that are currently in use and make necessary changes to improve operations.
  • Conduct risk assessments. Automated incident response provides the IT team with the ability to go back to basics, identifying and addressing vulnerabilities and closing any existing gaps in policies and processes.

When it comes to running the most secure, efficient and effective enterprise, retaining top cybersecurity talent is key. The tips and tools listed above should help you keep your IT team happier, more productive and on-board for the long haul so that when recruiters come calling, your employees will gladly send them packing.

To try our next-generation cybersecurity orchestration and automation platform for yourself, simply click here.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

How Automation Can Revolutionize Your Data Center

How Automation Can Revolutionize Your Data CenterData centers are absolutely critical to the continuity of daily operations for an organization. As such, the reliability and security of their equipment, technology and information is a top priority. Data center professionals are tasked with running a secure, efficient operation that effectively supports the organization’s infrastructure while maintaining an environment that is both agile and scalable. Data center automation is one tool that can facilitate this level of performance. Here’s how.

Data center automation can benefit both IT functions as well as line of business functions. By automating and orchestrating tasks and processes across all functions and teams, data center managers can dramatically increase operational efficiency. Even more importantly, they can begin to achieve quantifiable ROI quite rapidly – in many cases, just a few days following implementation. Specifically, the automation solution can be broken out into four main components, as follows.

Server Automation – With the right technology, data centers can easily standardize, consolidate and automate server operations, thereby reducing risks and boosting efficiency levels. Deploy complete lifecycle automation for servers as well as applications. This delivers a consistent scalable solution for patching, provisioning, configuration management, compliance management and script execution across all physical and virtual servers.

Database & Middleware Automation – The right platform will facilitate automation of daily administrative tasks that are necessary in order to adequately manage middleware and databases. This solution should also enable the enforcement of organizational standards and best practices across the enterprise. Customize processes and workflows and implement a self-service catalog to empower end-users and free up IT staff. This can improve efficiency by up to 90 percent.

Orchestration – Whether a traditional or hybrid cloud, data center automation and orchestration provides the ideal solution for automating IT tasks, processes and operations. In addition to run book automation, our platform is fully integratable and features out-of-the-box, plug-and-play capabilities across multiple domains, including cloud, virtualization and security ops. It’s specifically designed to increase adoption of automation.

Compliance – Data center automation can aid in ensuring IT compliance by unifying policy management across all business services. Enjoy a centralized, flexible policy management model that can be deployed across all IT silos and other resource types. Also enable automated audit and remediation to streamline the reporting process.

The ROI realized from data center automation can be quantified in both cost reduction as well as enhanced risk management and mitigation.

What could your data center accomplish with this type of advanced automated environment? Find out now by launching your free 30 day trial of eyeShare. Click here to get started.

EBOOK: HOW TO MEASURE IT PROCESS AUTOMATION RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)

Leveraging IT Automation for the Higher Education Field

One of the biggest challenges many universities and other higher education institutions face today is a lack of qualified IT staff members and a shortage of highly skilled support staff. Add to that the high volume of students and teachers that need quick answers and/or resolutions, as well as the fact that just about every student and faculty member has either their own laptop (BYOD) and also uses campus computers makes it very complex to manage a successful and efficient IT operation. The solution may be easier than you think: IT automation. Let’s take a look.

Automation can address these and other common challenges that many higher education institutions are facing. Here are 5 specific pain points that ITPA can address, providing quick resolution and a reduction in human error and manual labor.Leveraging IT Automation for the Higher Education Field

Password Resets / Unlock Accounts – With thousands of students and hundreds of faculty members, IT personnel for any given university will inevitably find themselves wasting precious time on routine tasks, one of the biggest of which is password resets. With IT automation, the end user is empowered to handle many of his or her own needs, such as resetting their own passwords and unlocking their accounts through the use of self-service portals. This provides a faster turnaround and therefore a better user experience, while simultaneously freeing up IT staff to focus on more important tasks.

Reboot Computers – Many updates and maintenance activities require a reboot of the system in order for the changes to take effect. Instead of relying on the end user to handle this task, potentially delaying and causing further problems system-wide, reboots can be automated. This saves time and improves both efficiency and usability of the entire infrastructure.

Reset or Restart Services – One of the biggest time wasters for IT professionals is the need to monitor and address system shut-downs. With the right IT automation software product, system restarts can be handled remotely via email or text message. The software monitors the systems constantly and identifies the need for a restart the very moment it occurs. What’s more, these workflows can be fully customized to include as many or as few triggers and steps as desired.

Monitoring Alert Notifications – Keeping track of incoming alerts is incredibly time consuming. It also leaves a lot of room for human error. Just one alert falling through the cracks could spell disaster for your entire IT operation. One of the biggest benefits of leveraging IT automation software is the fact that the program itself can take the reins on monitoring and managing incoming alerts. These means a much smaller margin for error and a more organized plan of action to ensure that alerts are addressed in a timely, efficient and effective manner.

User and Machine Provisioning – The right IT automation product can provide the ability to instantly and seamlessly create new Active Directory users as well as provision new Virtual Machines as needed. Customized controls can be set to authenticate and authorize any new AD user accounts and VMs can be integrated right into the recovery process. All of these configurations can be predefined and customized to meet the exact needs of the particular university.

Of course, these are just a few of the many benefits that IT automation can have for the higher education industry. If you are currently involved with IT operations for a university or other educational facility, ask yourself one question: what could your team do with more time and fewer manual tasks? The potential is virtually limitless!

To experience for yourself just how powerful the right IT automation solution can be, start your free 30 day trial of eyeShare today.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Three Fundamentals of Automation in the Workplace

Fundamentals of Automation in the WorkplaceShifting human work to machine is nothing new, nor is it something so vastly complex that it’s reserved only for the likes of multi-billion dollar operations. One needs only take notice at the interactions of their everyday life to realize how much artificial intelligence has become an integral part of our society. In fact, if you’ve ever used the self-checkout at your local grocery store or deposited a check at the ATM, you’ve leveraged automation technology.

So, what does this mean in terms of business? Specifically, how does automation impact the modern workplace? From a strictly benefits standpoint, automation is revolutionizing the way work is performed and providing advantages to organizations of every size and across every industry. Not only can AI boost productivity and eliminate human error, but it can also dramatically cut costs and provide the key to competitive advantage.

From a personnel perspective, automation is not necessarily something that will replace entire occupations, but rather the tool needed to streamline and improve workflow for human employees. Management must therefore focus on redefining roles and processes so that the two – automation technology and human workers – can complement one another.

To gain a deeper understanding of the role automation can and ultimately will play in the workplace of tomorrow, let’s take a look at three fundamentals of function below.

Automated Human Activities

Much of the conversation around workplace automation centers on the automation of simple, mundane and “codeable” tasks and workflows. While this is certainly a significant benefit, particularly in the field of IT, advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning technology have virtually blown the doors off this concept. In one study conducted by McKinsey & Company, nearly half (45 percent) of all work activities could be automated using already demonstrated technology.

In fact, in many cases, automation technology is already capable of matching, or even exceeding, the median level of human performance. This includes such intuitive activities as planning, coordinating and decision-making tasks.

Evolution of Roles and Processes

Very few occupations could be completely automated. More than half, on the other hand, could potentially see a significant portion of their daily duties and activities automated. What this means is that although artificial intelligence is not yet capable of replacing humans entirely, automation will most certainly begin to – at least to some degree – change the vast majority of occupations. To accommodate these changes, a redefinition of roles and subsequent adaptation of businesses process will be necessary.

Thankfully, this is actually good news for many because while automation may eliminate some of a human worker’s task load, it will simultaneously free them up to focus their skills and intellect elsewhere. In other words, job descriptions and their duties will inevitably evolve. At the same time, however, new and innovative job opportunities as they relate to managing AI will begin to emerge.

A More Universal Impact

Logic dictates that the lower-wage, less skill-based jobs will be the first to be displaced by automation. In reality, particularly due to the incredible advances in AI technology and machine learning, it’s becoming clear that even those who hold high-level, high-wage occupations will not be immune to the impacts of automation. In fact, to some degree, there may actually be a fundamental shift.

Take, for instance, the role of a corporate CEO. A big part of his or her job duties – and one of the reasons for his or her hefty salary – is the ability to analyze data and make critical business decisions. Trends indicate that a good portion of this level job could be automated using intuitive technology, including analysis, reporting and decision making. As such, the high value placed on such a senior level position may begin to wane.

Conversely, those who hold jobs in certain fields such as home health aides, maintenance workers and landscapers – fields that have tasks that cannot easily be automated – may actually be viewed as more valuable in the future, and therefore paid more handsomely for their skills.

In Conclusion…

Ultimately, time will tell just how much of an impact advanced automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence technology will have on the future of work. One thing is for certain, though. Its adoption is inevitable. The best way to prepare your organization is to stay a step ahead by embracing the tools that are currently available to you.

If you’d like to give our intuitive automation and orchestration platform a try in your own company, simply click here and download your free trial.

EBOOK: HOW TO MEASURE IT PROCESS AUTOMATION RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)

MSPs, What’s Holding You Back? Overcoming Common Barriers to Growth to Scale and Succeed

http://www.msptoday.com/topics/from-the-experts/articles/430971-msps-whats-holding-back-overcoming-common-barriers-growth.htm

Article originally published as a guest post on MSP Today.

Moving up the stack from basic IT support to a full-fledged MSP isn’t necessarily an easy transition. There will inevitably be a number of obstacles to overcome along the way. Thankfully, many have gone before and essentially paved the way for newer players to enter the field. Learning in advance what challenges you can expect and the best way to meet those challenges head on will help you avoid potential pitfalls that might otherwise become a barrier to growth. Let’s take a closer look at the three most common issues today’s MSPs struggle with.

Fear of Change

Let’s face it. Making a major change to your business model is scary. What if things don’t work out? Will you be able to recover? The reality is, however, that success requires a certain degree of risk. If your team is feeling particularly leery of making the shift to MSP and/or pursuing aggressive growth initiatives, the key will be communication. Be open, honest and transparent. Acknowledge the uncertainty many of your staff members are experiencing and take the time to address those concerns and put them to rest.

Additionally, there may also be an underlying fear that switching to managed services will result in the loss of business. Chances are very good that this will, indeed happen, as not everyone is suited for an MSP level of support. Understand, however, that while you may very well end up saying goodbye to a small portion of your customers, over time you will gain others to replace them. It’s just part of the shift.

Lack of Differentiation

Without question, the MSP field is highly saturated. The organizations that thrive are those that have found a way to stand out from the competition. This is especially critical for those just entering the marketplace. If potential clients can get the same service from an established player that they already know and trust, why would they take a chance on you? It’s up to you to convince them otherwise.

To do so, you must identify what new and better services your company can offer. For instance, if your prospects are seeking growth themselves, focus on services that help maximize efficiency and empower them to achieve those goals. If you’re unsure of what angle to take, tap into your sales team to find out what they’re hearing in the field. Or, better yet – ask your clients and prospects directly.

Underpricing

Finally, there is the challenge of how to appropriately price your services. In fact, making a switch from fixed price to a more profitable pricing model can be a difficult transition. This is often compounded by a mere lack of full understanding and a subsequent underestimation of the true value of the services you will now be providing.

At the end of the day, you want your customers to pay you what you’re worth. If you are undervaluing your services, chances are you are also underpricing yourself, which means you will not be able to achieve sustainable growth. Be honest and do your homework. Figure out what you are worth and what you will need to make in order to bring your business to the next level and then implement the necessary changes to make it happen.

Now that you’ve got a clearer picture of what may be standing in your way, it’s time to get to work turning things around. Here are a few helpful pointers, to overcome these common issues:

  • Evaluate your current business plan and strategy, as well as team member skills and abilities.
  • Utilize technology and tools, like automation, to make service delivery much more efficient.
  • Build technical credibility through key certifications and specializations.
  • Understand your pricing model to ensure that it properly supports your level of service.
  • Keep in close contact with customers to recognize and capitalize on trends and opportunities.

Making the transition from basic IT support to full-fledged managed services may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, with a well thought out plan backed by a confident team and advanced technology, you will be well positioned to compete in today’s fast growing market.

5 Ways to Boost Your Cybersecurity without Breaking the Bank

5 Ways to Boost Your Cybersecurity without Breaking the BankToday’s cybersecurity threats come in many different forms. Whether it’s social engineering, phishing, ransomware or more complex and dangerous advanced persistent threats, one thing is for certain. Organizations of every size must take the appropriate measures to protect their sensitive data and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.

Unfortunately, what’s standing in the way of many companies, however, is the topic of cost. Thankfully there are simple yet effective things you can do to keep your network secure regardless of budgetary limitations.

Proactively identify and address vulnerabilities.

The bad guys can’t get to you if you get to your own problems before they have a chance. Implementing a cybersecurity policy that involves ongoing testing to identify areas of potential vulnerability and taking the necessary steps to patch these holes in advance is the key. Staying on top of trends and industry news as it relates to widespread issues can also help you stay a few steps ahead of would-be hackers.

Take advantage of upgrades.

Many people don’t realize that their basic cybersecurity tools, such as antivirus software and firewall protection come with free upgrades. Take some time to go over the technology you’ve already got in place, that you’ve already paid for, and see if there are new features or enhancements that you might be missing out on. Investing a small amount of time into doing research can go long way toward preventing a potential security breach.

Develop a company-wide cybersecurity plan.

If your company lacks a defined cybersecurity strategy or the plan you currently have in place isn’t tied in with your business goals, you could be inadvertently placing yourself at a greater risk than necessary. Such a well-defined strategy does not require a large expense, either. To begin, gather a few key decision makers together for a brainstorming session and collectively answer the following questions:

  • What are our business goals/objectives?
  • What are the risks associated with those goals/objectives?
  • What type of data exists within the IT environment?
  • What tools and technologies are already available to protect that data?
  • What new tools and technologies can we obtain to strengthen our defense and that fit within our budget?

Educate employees.

The best way to approach cybersecurity, particularly when you’re dealing with limited funds and resources, is to acknowledge that it’s everyone’s job – not just IT. From the executive offices down to the frontline workers and everyone in between – every single employee should know what to look out for and what steps should be taken in the event of a potential security breach. Make ongoing education and training a priority.

Be careful with BYOD.

Smaller firms often find it beneficial to allow employees to utilize their own personal devices in order to reduce equipment expenditure. While this certainly has the potential to be a cost-effective solution, it’s critically important that the appropriate cybersecurity measures are put in place to address the increased risk of security incidents. Develop and implement thorough BYOD policies, processes and procedures and conduct regular audits to ensure employee compliance at all times.

Additionally, companies would be wise to consider investing in tools like automated incident response, which can bridge the gap created by limited IT personnel and other resources and create a much more robust and highly effective cybersecurity defense strategy.Ayehu’s automation and orchestration platform offers out-of-the-box, plug-and-play features at an attractive price point that might just surprise you.

Give it a try today FREE for 30 days or contact us to schedule a free product demo.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

The H1-B Visa is Under Threat. Here’s How to Avoid IT Staff Shortages

President Trump’s directive on H1-B visa policy

The H1-B Visa is Under Threat. Here’s How to Avoid IT Staff Shortages

America’s high-tech industry is worried – and you should be as well. For years, we’ve depended on immigration to fuel our insatiable demand for technology skills. Now, that’s in danger. President Trump’s new H1-B visa policy is creating concern across Silicon Valley, and beyond, as tech leaders concerned about IT staff shortages contemplate losing tens

of thousands of skilled immigrants every year.

Here’s the problem. In a leaked draft Executive Order, President Trump directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to “make the process of H-1B allocation more efficient and ensure the beneficiaries of the program are the best and the brightest.” That’s code for making s

ure that H1B visas aren’t just used to undercut American high-tech wages. And, while the Executive Order hasn’t been signed yet, it’s consistent with other administration moves – including suspending fast-track processing of H1-B visas.

What does this mean for businesses?

The current H1-B visa lottery system could be replaced with one that prioritizes visas for high-salary jobs – at the cost of lower-paid and entry-level positions. For example, you may find it relatively easy to hire experienced software engineers from overseas, but hiring support staff for IT Operations or Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) could be a nightmare. And, without the right support capabilities, how do you prevent IT staffing shortages and keep your IT environment up and running?

Here are your options:

1.      Compete for local resources

Attracting local talent means offering more money up front – and then continually raising wages as other companies try to steal your staff. Unfortunately, if you’re under the pressure of a tight budget, – like most of us – this just isn’t a viable option.

2.      Move jobs offshore

This can give you access to more support resources, but it’s going to make your life much more complicated. It’s not just about time zone differences, security or compliance. It can take months – or even years – for an offshore team to come up to speed. Until they do, you’ll struggle. And, your clients won’t give you a free pass just because you’re outsourcing – they’ll still expect timely and accurate support.

3.      Automate your support processes

IT support staff spend huge amounts of time on repetitive processes – processes that can be easily automated with the right technology. With an IT Process Automation solution, you need fewer support staff – and they work on higher-value activities. Not only will you reduce your operating costs, but you’ll also eliminate manual errors, deliver enhanced service levels, and improve customer experience. IT staffing shortages = solved!

To learn about Ayehu IT Automation & Orchestration platform and how it can help you survive potential IT staff shortages due to Trump’s latest executive order,  click here. Or better yet – start saving time, money and resources today by downloading your free 30-day trial.

About the Author

Kishore Ramamurthy is Senior Director of Product Marketing at Ayehu, the leading provider of IT process automation and orchestration. Kishore has deep knowledge of the IT Operations Management (ITOM) space and has lead product management and marketing in companies such as IBM Tivoli, BMC, Cisco, and Dynatrace.

 

5 Benefits of Remote Monitoring

5 Benefits of Remote MonitoringDid you now that the average amount of downtime businesses experience is around 87 hours? Furthermore, it is estimated that for every hour of downtime, the cost averages out at around $84,000. Can your company afford to lose that much revenue every time a problem occurs with your network? Remote monitoring allows your IT team to stay on top of incidents from wherever they are and uses automation to fill in the gaps. Here are five specific advantages of investing in remote network monitoring.

Limit Downtime

As mentioned, even just a few moments of downtime can be incredibly costly to a business. Not only can it result in a direct loss of revenue, but it can also impact your company indirectly due to loss of customer trust. Internally, downtime affects productivity and morale because it impedes employees’ ability to do their jobs.

By implementing remote monitoring and IT automation, your servers will be on watch 24/7 so that the moment a potential problem arises it can either be resolved automatically or escalated and addressed remotely. This can dramatically reduce the amount of time systems are inaccessible and in many cases prevent network downtime from occurring in the first place.

Enhance Security

These days, cybersecurity is among the highest priorities for businesses. It is absolutely imperative that companies take the proper measures to keep sensitive data secure and prevent it from ending up in the wrong hands. Security breaches can wreak havoc, both financially as well as to your hard-earned reputation. It can also contribute to increased downtime, which as we’ve already mentioned is also very costly.

When systems can be automatically monitored around the clock, threats can be more quickly detected, identified, analyzed, prioritized and dealt with accordingly. Those incidents that can be remediated without human intervention will be resolved automatically while those that require human input can be addressed by the appropriate party either via SMS, IM, email or phone. This significantly decreases the chances of your company’s sensitive data becoming compromised.

Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Any IT manager knows all too well how quickly TCO can add up. Between the initial investment in and ongoing maintenance of hardware and software, and all the expenses that go along with recruiting, hiring, training and retaining staff, it all takes a toll on your company’s bottom line. While there are, of course, certain costs associated with implementing automation, the added benefit of remote monitoring can help offset much of the overall TCO by enabling staff to work on the network and systems at a more predictable rate.

Streamline Maintenance

It’s of critical importance that all systems, programs and applications are well-maintained and kept up-to-date with any updates, patches, security and overall health checks. When your network is properly maintained, your business will continue to run smoothly. But keeping up with this demanding task can be challenging, particularly for IT departments that are working with limited resources, either financially or staff-wise. Remote monitoring keeps track of the status of all of your technology to ensure that any issues that arise are promptly addressed.

Improve Productivity

Another great benefit of leveraging remote monitoring is that it increases internal productivity, not only by reducing downtime and therefore allowing employees to consistently perform their job duties without interruption, but also in terms of IT operations.

With automation, manual tasks and workflows can be shifted from human to machine, freeing up talented personnel to focus their skills elsewhere. Additionally, since your systems and network will be continuously monitored regardless of staff location, you improve service levels and ultimately grow your business.

Ready to learn more about how remote monitoring can revolutionize how your IT department is run? Try it free for 30 days. Click here to start your trial today.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes